2 weeks in the Philippines - itinerary needed
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Oct 19, 2012 12:27 PM Last Post By: Wrenee
Oct 7, 2012 12:16 PM
2 weeks in the Philippines - itinerary neededMy girlfriend and I (both 30s from the UK) have booked a trip to the Philippines, arriving Nov 24th and departing on Dec 8th. We've booked the first 2 nights in Manila but are undecided on how to fill the rest of our trip. While we don't necessarily want to plan everything before we go, we thought it would be useful to research specific tours, plus book internal flights, before we arrive.
At the moment our loose itinerary is:
Nov 24: Manila
Nov 25: Manila
Nov 26-28/29: north Luzon (eg, Banuaue, Batad etc - can anyone recommend the best way to spend 2-3 nights in this region, plus any personal experience of tours? We would like to do some trekking and see the rice terraces but realistically can only spare 2-3 days as we want to spend the bulk of our trip by the beach. What can we expect from the weather in late Nov in north Luzon?)
Nov 28/29: back to Manila and fly straight away to either Palawan or somewhere in the Visayas
Nov 28/29 onwards...?
We're not sure whether to spend the remaining 10 days before flying back to Manila in one place (Palawan or Visayas) or two...
Palawan sounds amazing - we're after a bit of R&R in a decent resort plus boat trips, walking, swimming, volcanoes etc. The problem is there seems to be so much to see and do in the Visayas too, and we're tempted to try and fit in two locations in those 10 days. Would you recommend this, or just stick to one place - if so, where??
Thanks in advance
Oct 7, 2012 3:32 PM
1I will also appreciate hearing advice on this as I am currently bewildered with the possibilities / options in The Phillippines.
Oct 7, 2012 4:38 PM
2Given the time frame there's no point in trying to fit in both Palawan and the Visayas, just too much. Based on your criteria I'd say Palawan, which has everything you want except volcanos.
2-3 days is very short for the north, given the trip. I'd drop the extra day in Manila, allocate 4-5 days for a Banaue/Batad and Sagada loop, and spend the rest of the time in north Palawan.
Oct 7, 2012 5:23 PM
3I agree with Plkayaker, upon arriving in Manila go straight to Banaue if you have an option and spend at the very least 3 full nights (excluding night time drive)
Depending on what time is your ETA in Manila, there's only one bus (only one trip at night) going straight to BANAUE.
just don't make a flight reservation (MANILA TO OTHER ISLAND) on the same day that you are coming back from Ifugao. It's stressful and risky.
Expect cold weather in November and the usual afternoon shower.
Private tour (hiring a private vehicle with driver) is an option given that you have a limited time and if you want to maximize your time going up there but I must admit that it's not economical to most tourist (no pun intended).
Pro - upon arriving in Manila you can go straight to Banaue regardless of what time it is. (maximizing your time)
- you might save a few thousand pesos bec, bec. you don't have to check in at the Hotel in Manila and wait the following day to catch a night time bus going to Banaue.
- its more of a hop in hop off tour.
Con - EXPENSIVE
My unsolicited advice, try rebook your 2nights in Manila.
Edited by: thobs
Oct 7, 2012 5:33 PM
4Or you can spend your full 2 weeks in Palawan. You won't be disappointed.
Oct 7, 2012 7:03 PM
5I spent 2 weeks on Palawan in 2008 and loved every moment. I returned with my gf in 2009,we spent a week trekking in the rice terraces and had a week in Palawan afterwards chilling out.
Next month we will be in the visayas for some island hopping
My advice to you based on our experience is that 3 days is not really enough time to enjoy the terraces,consider extending your time there. Also you should decide whether to visit Palawan or Visayas but dont try to do both (palawan would be my choice) We thought we could take in both places over 10 days but after a little research we decided that it was not a good idea as travel time alone would take up 2 full days
Enjoy your trip
Oct 7, 2012 9:02 PM
6As above minimise your time in Manila and add it to the Banaue, Batad, Sagada route.
I would also choose Palawan over the Visayas, both are great to visit but Palawan is the more impressive in terms of natural beauty. Either fly to Puerto Princesa and head North by Bus or fly to Coron and head South by ferry..
Oct 9, 2012 1:39 PM
Re Manila; we arrive at 9pm on Saturday 24th and thought it would be best after a long flight from the UK to have a full day and night in Manila before hitting the road again. But maybe we could get a nightbus leaving late on Sunday 25th to north Luzon. Are nightbuses generally safe and easy to book on the same day? We could go to the bus station first thing on Sunday if needed.
We'd then spend Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights in the north before heading back to Manila on the Thursday night (assuming buses run overnight). This would get us back to Manila on Friday morning and we'd fly out the same day (afternoon) to Palawan.
We'd then have 7 nights in Palawan. I presume it would be achievable to fly to Puerto Princesa and then travel over the course of a week to Coron (buses and ferries) before flying Coron-Manila? We'd ideally stop in two places on the way I guess (4 nights in one place, 3 in another) as don't want to be constantly on the road.
Thanks again for your help
Oct 10, 2012 1:21 AM
8Hi Harry, I'm doing a similar trip in December. My plans are as below:
1st Dec - Arrive a Clarke Airport - Angeles City
2nd Dec - Fly to Puetro Princesa & stay for 2 days then head to Elnido for 4 days
9th Dec - Fly from PP to Davao
13th Dec - By road to Cagyan de Oro
15th Dec - Camigiuan Island
16th - Back to Cagyan de Oro
17- Fly to Cebu - to Clark
19th Dec - To Malaysia
I booked all my internal flights via Cebu Pacific for around $25 each.
Everybody told me Manila is really not worth it, so i skipped manila altogether.
Oct 10, 2012 1:18 PM
There's a bus company that leaves ftom manila (specifically in lacson st) straight to banaue. This is near the university of sto tomas in espanya manila. They have night trips that departs at 10pm...with your arrival time, im not sure if you'll be able to catch this trip. The name is ohayami bus. Here's the fb link https://www.facebook.com/pages/OHAYAMI-TRANS/124560244239941?sk=info.
Edited by: oteng_23
Oct 10, 2012 3:31 PM
10Arriving at 9 is inconvenient, you won't make the Ohayami bus to Banaue. You could get a trip to Baguio, carry on to Sagada in the morning, spend a day there, go to Banaue/Batad and take the night bus back to Manila, but that would be fairly brutal.
Another way would be to check straight into somewhere near the Pasay bus terminals, grab a little sleep, get a Baguio bus next day. If you left early enough you could catch the 1PM last trip to Sagada. Still a huge trip. Otherwise you'd stay in Baguio, get an early trip to Sagada next day, one day there, then Banaue/Batad, back to Manila on a night trip from Banaue.
No day trips to Banaue but you can get a bus to Tuguegarao and jeep up from Bagabag junction.
If I were in your shoes I'd think one of two ways. Either add some days in the mountains and just go to Coron, not trying to do all of Palawan, or drop the mountains altogether and go to Palawan. Both Palawan and the mountains are wonderful and rewarding but neither are really conducive to rushing through.
Oct 19, 2012 12:27 PM
I am actually doing a very similar trip and have the same dilemma. I will be in the Philippines for about 15-16 days, and I am arriving in Manila at 9:45 PM, and want to get going ASAP up to the mountains, or down to the beach. Any suggestions where I can stay in Manila for the night that would give me the easiest connection to a bus in the morning?
I have been trying to cram as much as possible into my trip, but I'm learning that's a bad idea. I primarily want to see the jaw-dropping natural sites, and I've been advised to head to Coron over El Nido, So Coron is at the top of my list. There's 2 of us, late 20s, ready for adventure over lazing for days on the beach. I want to snorkel (maybe dive once or twice), take an island hopping boat tour, see some caves, rivers, lakes, rice terraces, gorgeous beaches, ride on top of a jeepney, and rent some motorcycles or scooters.
Will I be able to do several of these things on Busuanga/Coron and be ok with skipping the rest of Palawan? Where is a good place to rent a motorcycle and tour around?
Would we be happier to avoid the mountains and just stick to the boats and beaches and motorcycles in Busuanga/Palawan/Visayas?
We are going mid Nov-Dec 4, so if weather will be better in one place over another, that can be a deciding factor too. Like if an island hopping tour will be a bad idea in Palawan because of rain and rough seas, maybe we'd head to the Visayas instead.
Any advice would be great thanks!
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